It is vital for Rotary to support Black Lives Matter


A few years ago I had the opportunity to work alongside Dave King on the theme of Hearing Loops. He was working for a charity called Hearing Link that had was developing loop up groups and that included groups in Lewes, Eastbourne and Surrey and I was working for a Company that installs hearing loops that is based in East Sussex and so we had the chance to assist the local groups. Sadly Dave moved on but I have remained in touch with him via social media and his current role is as a editor for the Rotary Club magazine. Today he has explained that an article he has published in the magazine on the subject of Black Lives Matter has been criticised by some of the members of Rotary

“Rotarians angry that the ‘Marxist’ organisation Black Lives Matter has been given a platform in the magazine and is being endorsed by Rotary. One has demanded an apology, plus the reprint of an ‘unbiased and informed’ feature in a future issue. A couple more Rotarians are threatening to resign.”

While it is very disappointing that Dave’s article has raised such challenges, if the people threatening to resign are opposed to a widely supported campaign across our nation to improve the quality of life for people from a Black and Minority Ethnic background then it will presumably improve the prospects of Rotary becoming more inclusive and less biased. In the past I attended a number of Sussex based Rotary clubs to promote a role I was attempting to get involved in and they were a very diverse group of people from all sorts of backgrounds. I also recall that in the past some people I have corresponded with on social media have on occasions claimed I am a Marxist which is always fascinating as I have never studied or adopted any of his views. In one case the person set out to explain why in his opinion my views matched Karl Marx and I found that very vague. As a child I did enjoy watching Groucho Marx so perhaps that is a better match. It is certainly true that there are many extremist people who have been involved in Black Lifes Matter but there are many thousands of people from right across the nation whose views are not in any way political. I have read comments from people who have pointed to a website that has links to the origins of BLM, however the international campaign which has been adopted and supported right across our country is a long way from that website and listening to some of the people who started Black Lives Matter it is very clear that they are not a formal organisation and they do not have any leadership, so this view regarding Marxism is a long way from the truth.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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2 Responses to It is vital for Rotary to support Black Lives Matter

  1. Rob Furber says:

    Whilst I FULLY endorse the motivations of your friend’s writings to seek out and overcome racism I can’t say I have much truck with BLM movement. The publication by the British branch of a searingly anti Semitic article and their persistent pursuit of a defunding campaign of The Police Force tends to be consistent that ONE RACE playing the anti racist card is only expressing the “pour me’s” and seeking to be in receipt of some positive discrimination action to further themselves.

    I am firmly of the view ( and have already written in many posts / blogs that ALL lives matter. I even went to the move of publicly warning the church leadership of where I attend that their own prescience at a BLM demonstration might be a way for their self expression but that in “ any farm that I tilled “ALL RACES were equal and there would be NO temporary position taken where one could be more equal than others”. ( Forgive me George )

    Racism is a tough nut to crack, and unless you fight it on the broadest of fronts you tend to skip into it yourself.
    I had a Nigerian Couple in my congregation tell me (“ Windrush is a Caribbean issue Rob not a RACE issue. I beg to differ )
    I’m a self confessed raging Zionist and have moved the odd mountain to get some Jewish people emigrated to Israel, but when the former Chief Rabbi ( Sachs ) warns on National Radio he’s WORRIED about Jewish racism in this country – I worry too.

    If ‘taking a knee’ would stamp out racism – i’d adopt it today, but it is significant to ONE RACE in ONE country.

    So I applaud your friend’s pitching of the problem, but I too have “problems” with the BLM movement representing “ ANTI – Racist sentiments across ALL races.

    Difficult one this.

    • ianchisnall says:

      Hi Rob, so I do agree that supporting All Lives Matter is important and as I wrote I also agree that there are some potential challenges with some of the people involved in Black Lives Matter. I would also point out that there are many people who are suffering racism who are not support of BLM even though they are Black. All of that said I would equally say that BLM has a great deal of positives within it and we need to challenge people who claim that the BLM is Marxist, opposed to Police and determined to break down the communities. I work very closely with a number of Police agencies that are very supportive of BLM even though they take grief from some of the people. That said many Police agencies know their historic position has been guilty of a number of problems and they see this as an attempt to resolve some of the issues.

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